Network Your Way Into Opportunities (and list of events)

networking starts with a handshakeI’m amazed at the opportunities that come up because of networking. I’m not talking about this dialogue:

Job Seeker: Hi, my name is Jason Alba. I’m an accomplished executive with 10 years of experience in web technologies. I’m in transition right now – won’t you hire me?

Network contact: Yes, please fill out this employment form!

I’m talking about something a lot more subtle, requiring more patience. Yesterday I met for lunch with one of my favorite professors (favorite because he is an out-of-the-box thinker, very concerned about the future of his students, and creating new programs) and we were talking about this patience thing.

I was telling him that some of the very cool stuff on my horizon is coming after more than a year of nurturing relationships. More than a year! That is why Seth Godin says that if you haven’t been working on your network relationships before you get laid off, it’s almost too late! Well, it’s not too late to work on them, but it might be too late to get real benefit in this job search.

An interesting point that came out of the lunch discussion yesterday is to not underestimate a network contact. You never know who that person knows (and might recommend you to), or where they might be in a year or two. The key is to nurture the relationship, with more regard for the person and less regard for their title.

Here’s a perfect example. Last year as I networked with a bunch of executives in transition I got to know them on a pretty personal level, and spent time with them when they were at a low point in their lives. Guess what? They have all landed, and are all in a very powerful position right now!

Okay, so let me share a list of events that you might want to know about. Some are local (Salt Lake), others are global (internet radio). If you can, mark your calendars and come participate:

Today at 11 MST I’ll be on the LinkedIn Live: Who’s Your Daddy? show… this is a radio show, which you can join.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Young Entrepreneurs of America Summit in Salt Lake, presenting! These are high school kids that have the entrepreneur bug, and I’m thrilled to get to present. I think I’m on at 11 am. Tickets are $10 at the door (I think). It’s a great event, with some excellent speakers (I see a lot of my friends are on the schedule).

Friday at around 8am I’ll be at the Utah First Friday year end extravaganza, at a table signing books. This will be weird since I’ve never done this in a formal way before, but I’m sure it will be fun. There is no speaker, just a bunch of tables and networking.

Monday, December 17th, Andy Sernovitz will be speaking at 4pm. Andy Sernovitz is the word of mouth marketing god, and played a significant role in getting my book to the publisher (he didn’t know it, but after his presentation at the SOB conference I had all the inspiration I needed to get it done!). Mark your calendars and come join us – seating will be limited, and I promise this is one presentation you won’t want to miss.

Thursday, December 27th is the “geek/bloggers dinner.” I’m not a geek, and you don’t have to be one to go… it’s a lot of fun. But don’t come if you want a quiet boring evening, don’t come. If you want to have a blast, sign up here.

Saturday, January 26th is the Salt Lake Podcamp … guaranteed to have a good time… sign up here.

I’m involved in one way or another in each of these events… and they all have come because of network relationships that have been developing over the last 1+ years.

If you haven’t been networking, start now. Take someone to lunch today. Today.